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Excursions and leisure

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best places to visit in austria - excursions with actilingua

Learning a new language isn't just about studying German phrases and grammar. We show you the best places to visit in Austria.
Free evenings are perfect for discovering Vienna on your own. Our students often opt for visits to the opera, concerts, theatre or cinema. We are happy to assist you with ticket reservations and hot tips from locals on Vienna's night life.

Discover Austrian culture and nature on the weekends. We organise trips and excursions to Salzburg (“Mozart city”), Graz (capital of Styria) and its Southern flair, Klosterneuburg (famous for its Babenberg heritage) and to “Wachau” region and Danube valley, among other desinations. We also visit the Kreuzenstein castle and Seegrotte Hinterbrühl. In summer, we swim at Lake Neusiedl and savour Austrian wine taverns (“Heuriger”).

You can swim, cycle, sail, surf and waterski to your heart’s content at Vienna’s “Donauinsel” (Danube Island). Sporty students and teachers can also get together for soccer and volleyball. In winter, we organise skiing and snowboarding days. Excursions are booked and paid directly in Vienna (cost price).

Fees may vary for full-day (EUR 25.00 up to EUR 70.00) and half-day excursions (EUR 10.00 up to EUR 40.00).

Excerpt from FULL DAY EXCURSIONS (cost price)

The Town of Roses

Tulln Situated in the midst of picturesque gardening nurseries and green islands spread all over the city, Tulln is often called the “Flower Town” or “Rose Town”.
In the company of our ActiLingua teachers and other ActiLingua students, your journey will start bright and early with taking a train to Tulln. First on the schedule, a visit to the Egon Schiele Museum, which features over 60 oil paintings, watercolours and drawings from his early creative period of the extraordinary and famous Austrian artist.
Afterwards, a spectacular view across the canopy of the old and majestic trees lining the “Baumwipfelweg” awaits you. An observation deck 30m above ground consisting of multiple levels and staircases provides a magnificent vista. An experience accompanied by riveting water installations choreographed to sounds and music, which are a treat for eyes and ears.

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admission to the museum and the gardens.

The City of Mozart – a must for all visitors to Austria!

Salzburg Early in the morning students embark on a 2.5-hour train ride from Vienna Westbahnhof to Salzburg. The whole day is devoted to culture, sightseeing and shopping.

You follow in Mozart's footsteps by visiting his birthplace, stroll along the famous Getreidegasse - a delightful shopping street - and visit the remarkable castle "Festung Hohensalzburg. In between you can make yourself comfortable at an inn or café for lunch.

The fee includes rail travel (round trip), admission to Mozart’s birthplace, admission to and castle lift up and down the Festung Hohensalzburg.

Trip to one of Austria’s famous wine growing regions including a spectacular boat tour on the Danube!

Wachau Region The Wachau is a section of the Danube valley north-west of Vienna. It captivates visitors with its scenic beauty - the winding Danube nestled in rolling chains of hills. The Wachau, however, is not only famous for its scenery, but also for wine-growing - it is one of the finest wine regions in Austria. The picturesque little towns and villages in the region also make the Wachau a popular destination for many tourists.

Accompanied by ActiLingua teachers and fellow students, you take a morning train and make your first stop in Melk - the gate to the Wachau.
A tour of the famous baroque abbey with its magnificent library is followed by a boat trip to Dürnstein, where you will have a walk around the medieval town - you will be enchanted! Narrow, winding alleys, and a view over the Danube valley, crowned by Dürnstein castle - the famous ruin above the town in which Richard the Lionheart was held captive. Of course, it is possible to climb up the steep path to the ruin.

After a short hike you can take a break, for example at a “Heuriger” (typical Austrian wine tavern) for some local wine. The 2-hour return journey follows the Danube, giving a final view of the Wachau.

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admission to the abbey and the boat tour.

Boat and swimming fun at Europe’s largest steppe lake!.

Lake Neusiedl Lake Neusiedl, set in a large national park, captivates visitors with its great variety of water sports and its wonderful reed landscape.

Together with an ActiLingua teacher and fellow students, you first take the train to Eisenstadt, the capital of Burgenland, where you will go on a guided tour at Schloss Esterhazy. After having lunch at a typical Austrian restaurant, you take the train to Lake Neusiedl, where you start off with a boat tour. In summer you will also have the opportunity to go swimming, surfing or taking a turn in a pedalo.

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admissions to the palace and the bathing area and the boat tour.

Southern flair in Austria’s second largest city.

Graz What a telling name for the second biggest city in Austria (Slav. „gradec“=castle): Due to its location, Graz has been a major fortress combating intruding Ottomans for centuries. The world’s largest collection of medieval weapons is one of the city’s major attractions, which, of course, you will get to see on this trip! Marvel at the beauty of the ancient quarters, which have been strongly influenced by Italian Renaissance.

After lunch you can take in the impressive view from the town’s landmark “Uhrturm”. It is the only remnant of the once mighty fortress, which was destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars. Graz has been cultural capital of Europe in 2003. To celebrate the event some fascinating modern structures have been built, for example an artificial island swimming on top of river Mur.

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admission to and guided tour at the museum.

Charming market town in the “wine district” of Lower Austria.

Retz Retz, situated in a part of Lower Austria called „Weinviertel“ (wine district), is a traditional market town known for its winegrowing tradition. Its market square is one of the biggest and most beautiful squares in Austria.

The whole square has a distinctive Southern feel to it. It is lined with beautiful houses: “Verderberhaus” mimics Venetian Renaissance, other houses are examples of biedermeier or baroque architecture…

There's another surprise: You can cross the square subterraneanly and take a look at the largest wine cellar in Central Europe (21 km long, up to 30 m deep). Up until 500 years ago, it was used to store wine from all over the region. It is an unforgettable experience!

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admissions to and guided tours at the wind mill and the wine cellar.

Past, present and future combined in Austria’s third largest city

Linz Linz, Upper Austria's capital city, is mostly known for the VOEST, the largest industrial area in Austria. There's a lot to see: For example, the impressive Danube river and its banks, the beautiful main square, the medieval castle featuring a romantic park with the oldest church in Austria: Martin's church.
The steeple of Linz's cathedral was planned to be higher than Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. That however, did not happen due to Viennese vigilance. There's also a medieval castle with a marvelous park featuring Austria's oldest church: St. Martin's church.

However, Linz is also one of Austria’s greenest cities and offers various opportunities to get some fresh air. Together with your ActiLingua teacher and fellow students, you will take the mountain tram to the top of Pöstlingberg, from where you can enjoy the panoramic view.

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admission to the museum, tram to and from the top of the mountain.

Ancient Roman remains in Austria.

Carnuntum Just about half an hour east of Vienna you can find archaeological excavations of a major Roman city called Carnuntum. A guided tour will reveal fascinating facts and amusing details on Roman history in Austria. We will find out how the ancient Romans lived, worked, travelled, how they entertained themselves, how they ate and drank.

After enjoying some refreshments, we will visit the military city of the Roman era in Austria. Find out more about Austria’s most famous Roman remains at our ActiLingua excursion to Carnuntum!

The costs include rail travel (round trip), admission and guided tour.

Excerpt from HALF DAY EXCURSIONS (cost price)

Glamorous atmosphere in a historic town in Lower Austria

Baden Culture was always an important aspect of Baden. Its mansions, palaces, elegant houses of the upper middle class and squares were built by renowned architects from the Biedermeier period, Historicism and Art Nouveau. Cultural activities take place year-round.

Tradition and modernity coexist, various styles blend perfectly and create a glamorous atmosphere. A special highlight is our spa visit. Baden’s hot springs are famous for their healing sulphuric water. You are very welcome to check it out with fellow students after the excursion! Visiting a spa is relaxing and a very Austrian thing to do!

The costs include rail travel (round trip) and city walk guided by an ActiLingua teacher.

Dive into the Baroque era on this trip to Klosterneuburg!
Klosterneuburg Klosterneuburg is a quaint little town 10 km north of Vienna set in the hills of the Vienna Woods. It is most famous for its Babenberg abbey and wine-growing.

This excursion begins in Heiligenstadt, with a 15-minute bus ride to Klosterneuburg. Once arrived in Klosterneuburg, you enjoy a nice stroll around town and then go on a guided tour in the abbey - often compared to Schönbrunn Palace - and also see the church with the famous Verdun Altar.

The costs include coach travel (round trip) and admission to the abbey.

Reconstructed medieval castle in the wooded hilltops of Leobendorf.

Kreuzenstein One of the most impressive castles of Austria rises on top of a hill just half an hour northwest of Vienna.
However, in 1645 the gorgeous castle with all its spires, murals and pinnacles was completely destroyed by the Swedish army in the course of the 30 Years' War. At the end of the 19th century a millionaire decided to rebuild the castle true to the original and with incredible attention to detail.

The eccentric millionaire imported original components and intriguing exhibits from all over Europe. There are gothic balconies from Slovakia, roman sculptures depicting lions from Venice and medieval skewers complete with a propeller drive. On a guided tour at Kreuzenstein castle you can admire anything that links back to the good old times of knighthood!

Costs include rail travel (round trip), admission to and guided tour in the castle.

Take a stroll through Laxenburg park and have a closer look at one of the Habsburg’s residences!.

Laxenburg Even though it is less generally known than Schönbrunn Palace, Laxenburg is an intriguing Habsburg residence and well worth a visit.
Like Schönbrunn, Laxenburg started out as hunting grounds for the Habsburg dynasty. Emperor Franz Joseph II gave orders to lay out the palace garden in true English fashion.

The most fascinating transformation in Laxenburg happened under the reign of Emperor Franz I a contemporary of Napoleon.
Franz I initiated the construction of Austria's main building in the style of classicistic Romanticism: ‘Franzensburg'. We will approach the castle and enjoy a guided tour inside. Laxenburg is quite a sight!

The costs include coach travel (round trip), admission to and guided tour in the residence.

Flora and fauna meet architectural marvel.

Lainzer Tiergarten Picturesque Vienna Woods, situated in the very west of Vienna, are foothills of the Alps and contribute considerably to the excellent quality of life in Vienna. Just within you can find the 'Lainzer Tiergarten', a private hunting ground of the Habsburg family in earlier times and a public park today.
A walk in the park is not only a welcome outdoor exercise but also highly informative as you can admire a diverse fauna and flora. Definite highlight of our walk is the visit to the Hermesvilla which was built as a present to Empress Sisi. Her husband Franz Joseph wanted her to have a private retreat and a place to feel at home when she first came to Vienna. The small palace was an architectural marvel and inspired many other romantic villas of its time.

Hermesvilla did not live up to the Emperor's expectations in providing Sisi with a hideaway and so his wife kept travelling around Europe. However, the romantic architecture and glorious interior of the villa cannot be blamed. At the Hermesvilla you can visit the Imperial apartments, Sisi's gym or an informative special exhibition on Vienna's cultural histories. In the last years, those exhibitions have been covering themes like the historical development of fashion, hygiene and even love in Vienna.

The costs include admission to and guided tour in the Hermesvilla.

Boat tour on Europe’s largest subterranean lake!.

Seegrotte Hinterbrühl The unique natural monument of Hinterbrühl grotto is the result of a tragic catastrophe. In 1912 a gallery of a gypsum mine collapsed and the whole mine was flooded. During World War II the former mine was pumped dry in order to build military aircrafts without fear of allied air raids. The first jet in history was built in one of the grottos. After the war the former mine was flooded once more. Some of the galleries and remains of the national socialist air craft factory have been spared und were turned into a museum.

An intriguing boat trip on a subterranean lake spanning 6300 sqm is the highlight of our visit! Bring warm clothes! The temperature in the grotto remains constant at 8° C (46.4 F) during the whole year.

The costs include rail travel (round trip) and admission to the grotto.

Vienna's famous sights on water and from bird's-eye view

Donau During this outing, we will ascend to the top of the 150m high Danube Tower, enjoying a magnificent view over all of Vienna. Being one of Vienna's most visible landmarks, the tower was built in 1962 in preparation for the Viennese Horticultural Show. It holds a circumferential outside deck and a two-storey glass paned indoor area.

The Danube river cruise will give you a unique experience of exploring the city's waterways and nature. The Viennese landmark offers a distant view of up to 80 kilometres over the city and its surroundings. Hop on and let's go!

The costs include admission to the tower and the boat tour.

Follow the footsteps of Ludwig van Beethoven in Vienna!

Beethovengang On this excursion you get the chance to find out more about Ludwig van Beethoven and his life. Our first station is Probusgasse 6, where we visit the composer's private quarters. This memorial flat is well tended and open to the public. It's quite a tourist magnet, really.

Our route takes us to Beethoven-Grillparzer house. In 1808, when he was busy composing his 6th symphony known as “Pastorale”, Beethoven shared this house with young Franz Grillparzer, a well-known Austrian writer.
Our last station takes us to house “Eroica”, where Beethoven usually spent his summer months. The major part of his 3rd symphony was composed here.

To round off this excursion, our ActiLingua teacher will take you to a “Heuriger” (typical Austrian wine tavern). Even Beethoven himself used to go there!
The costs include the admission to the museum.

Feel like a real Habsburg on this excursion to the Hofburg!

Hofburg The museums at the Vienna Hofburg included in this tour contain the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Silver Collection. For over 600 years, the Hofburg served as the Habsburg's residence, as well as their governing and administrative hub. Its furniture and décor date back to the late 1800s.

The Sisi Museum provides an insight into the empress's life and exhibits a collection of personal artefacts. Furthermore, the Hofburg houses the former Court Silver and Table Room, displaying a unique collection of objects necessary for the running of the imperial household.

The costs include the admission to and a guided tour at the Hofburg.

Have a look at the life and history of the Habsburg family!

Schönbrunn Schönbrunn Palace is not only the largest palace in Austria, but also Vienna's most visited sight. It served as the imperial summer residence from the mid-18th century up until the end of the First World War.

Walking through the many rooms, takes the visitor on a journey into the life and history of the Habsburg family. The gardens surrounding the castle serve as a recreation area for locals and tourists alike.

The costs include the admission to and a guided tour in the Palace.

The trendy and modern side of Vienna.

Museumsquartier Wien Vienna's MuseumsQuartier is one of the ten largest cultural complexes in the world. It's a trend-setting and urban cultural hotspot with enormous potential.

The MuseumsQuartier unites baroque buildings, new architecture, diverse cultural institutions, various disciplines of art with leisure facilites. Its unique location at the very center of Vienna ensures perfect accessability and excellent infrastructure. Cafes and restaurants with open air terraces, bars, shops, designer and book stores complete the wide range. All this is spread over 60.000 sqm.

Together with an ActiLingua teacher and fellow students you will check out the Museum of Modern Arts (MUMOK) and then have a walk around the area where you can stop and have some rest in a typical Austrian bar near Spittelberg.

The costs include the admission to the museum.